Its a good benchmark as we move forward because we hope to do a study again in 3-5 years, and see how this changes, said Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time executive director, during the announcement event at Haworth Inn and Conference Center.
had previously estimated an economic impact of about $10 million, Auwerda
The study, completed in partnership with Anderson Economic Group
, estimates that about 500,000 people attended the festival this year.
About 27 percent of those were younger than 35 years old, and the average income was $78,000 annually.
About 69 percent are younger than 65 years old.
I feel like weve done a good job of attracting that younger demographic, Auwerda
Surveys were used to collect data during the 8-day festival, which ran May 2-9.
The survey indicates that 56 percent of attendees were first-time visitors, and 66 percent of Tulip Time visitors plan to return either for the festival or during a different time of year.
Our continued efforts on program will be helpful.
We've got cooking classes and painting classes, things that will surprise and delight you, things that you can engage in, Auwerda
said Tulip Time programming is continuing to change and evolve each year to attract a younger demographic, and to encourage people to return.
Survey results indicate that Dutch dance, parades, the arts and crafts fair and fireworks are among the most popular events, all of which are free, non-ticketed activities.
attracts visitors from throughout Michigan and the U.S. During 2015: 38 percent of visitors were from outside the state.
The survey also showed that 32 percent of visitors use the Tulip Time website from their smartphone or tablet, which is pushing the organization to roll out an app in time for the 2016 festival.
The app is a necessary step to get information out about the festival, Auwerda
We are a significant and meaningful event in the community, she